SPAC had a Rhythm So Strong, You Could Have Used Seven Senses, and Three Pairs of Shoes Last Saturday
Editor’s Note: For the big Saratoga events this summer, such as SPAC’s Ballet Gala, I am pleased to welcome additional photos from MJ Collins and the perspectives of Carrie Rowlands Johnson and Lisa Champagne – two outstanding communicators who bring ‘team coverage’ to outstanding events, such as what took place last Saturday, July 8.
Finding My New Favorite
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Butterfly-like beings flutter effortlessly from one end of the stage to the other, their lithe, delicate bodies costumed in bright colors.
From my (rather lovely and quite close) seat, they appear non-human, their bodies moving in directions I (as a practicing yogi) only aspire to.
Ladies and gentlemen, The New York City Ballet is back at SPAC for its two-week residency, offering Saratoga prime opportunity to throw a party, as only Saratogians can.
May I present to you, SPAC’s annual Ballet Gala.
Why I’d never attended this magical event has everything to do with my kids’ schedule and nothing to do with lack of desire. This year, stars aligned and my schedule cleared, so Saturday evening I grabbed one of my best girl friends and together we dressed-up, Gala-style.
My black one-shoulder dress swirling around my knees, my heels pinching my toes with every step, we walk onto the lawn, our cooler stuffed with champagne, prosecco, chicken and chocolate.
We hadn’t reserved a tent, as we were joining our saratoga.com editor, Arthur Gonick, and had no idea where the evening would transport us. The plan was to hang out on the lawn, rather than inside The Hall of Springs, where the deep-pocket donors were gathering and dining. Outdoors, we were told, was most definitely the place to be.
Dotted across SPAC’s lawn, a tiny tent-village had been erected. Hundreds had leased tents and spent hours earlier in the day decorating their home-for-the-evening with tonight’s “Romance” theme in mind. Hydrangeas, candelabras and twinkly lights created a magical ambience. Tables laden with home-made and catered appetizers and snacks and deserts and buckets of cocktail-fixings were spread out, shared by old and new friends.
Lisa Champagne and I found my dear friend Aspen Witt, who invited us to join the tent she was sharing with Stephanie and Justin Hogan and their friend Jacob Hopper from Explore Saratoga! We unpacked our cooler and joined in the party.
We chatted with familiar faces, made new friends, and discovered who bought which lovely dresses, and where, drank cocktails and sampled snacks.
Our seats inside the auditorium were ready for us when we finally meandered down toward the main attraction, ballet performances inspired by the music of Richard Rodgers.
As we left the lithe dancing bodies, an amazing display of fireworks lit the night sky, setting the stage for the final act of the evening. Under the biggest tent of them all, the music of Soul Session drew gala-goers onto the floor for our own attempt at dance. We weren’t ballerinas, but we did allow the music to carry us… with our very own expression… well into the night.
Of all the galas in the world, you, Saratoga Ballet Gala, are my very favorite. I’ll find a way to see you next year!
Carrie Rowlands Johnson
Photo Interlude One:
The Rhythm of Romantic Fashion
SARATOGA SPRINGS -The New York City Ballet Gala hosted by SPAC is one of Saratoga’s most anticipated summer events. This years title- “The Rhythm of Romance: A Tribute to Richard Rodgers” inspired a theme of both elegance and romance. But let’s face it, dressing for an event is never easy. Much like a perfectly choreographed dance, putting together the perfect ensemble takes time.
The Gala is no exception. Whether you spend the evening on the lawn sipping champagne under the stars or you high-end it inside as a staunch supporter of the New York City Ballet, the options are endless! Fashion is the art of self expression, these lovely ladies convey nothing but beauty and elegance…
July 12, 2017
Photo Interlude Two:
Saving Room For Dessert — and The After-Party!
SARATOGA SPRINGS – I’m convinced that on this night, you could, in fact show up at SPAC AFTER the Ballet and still have a blast!
Now, to be clear, i’m not advocating you do that – you would miss out on my favorite elements of the evening: The gracious, lovely and hospitable people on the lawn showing pride in their theme-decorated tents, the always elegant “Black Tie Perp-Walk” (you know who you are) and of course, the always specially-chosen ballet for the evening itself.
If your LearJet got delayed and landed at the County Airport late, your limo got a flat and you didn’t arrive until the curtain calls were concluding, it’s hard to have an evening that contains fireworks, desserts in the Hall of Springs, the Gypsy Swing of Hot Club of Saratoga, and of course, the mighty mighty party machine that is Soul Session, and say you got cheated. Welcome to the after-party!
Thanks to MJ Collins for her photo assistance. See you next time!
July 12, 2017